Raise your hand if you have a party or family event coming up in the next three weeks. Yeah? I’m willing to bet that almost everyone out there has a hand up in the air. Are you supposed to provide a dish to pass? I have the ultimate in ease and WOW factor for you.
Apricot Jalapeño Baked Brie is low-maintenance to make and cannot fail to impress the heck out of everyone who eats it. Spicy, fruity minced jalapeno peppers are stirred into sweet, tangy apricot preserves, spooned onto brie and wrapped in puff pastry before being baked to golden, brown, flaky perfect. The hardest part of the whole thing is waiting for the cheese to set back up a bit so it doesn’t pour out of the pastry like a molten river of beautiful cheese.
I used a six ounce ‘log’ of brie that I scored at my local(ish) Aldi store. I love the logs because they’re a little different looking than the average wheel of brie (which still looks gorgeous and makes me want to yell “GET IN MY MOUTH ALREADY!”) but you can use a wheel of pretty much any size or whatever flicks your Bic. A cut wedge might lack the structure that the outer mold rind provides making it ooze a bit too much inside the puff pastry, but hey… oozy cheese is seldom inedible.
For those of you who have never made baked brie before, let me walk you through it step by step.
How to bake brie:
- Thaw a sheet of puff pastry according to package directions. Unfold it and lay it out on the counter.
- Use a sharp knife to remove the top layer of mold rind. It shouldn’t be a deep cut, but it should be deep enough to lift it off in one piece.
- Lay the big piece of brie, cut side up, on the puff pastry, positioned so that when you fold the puff pastry over it, you can reach the other side of the brie.
- In a bowl, mix together the apricot preserves and minced jalapeno. Spoon it over the cut surface of the brie. Lay the rind piece you removed over the brie, cut side down.
- Lift the excess puff pastry and fold up and over the top of the brie, bringing it to meet the puff pastry on the other side. Crimp the seams well and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush the surface with a beaten egg to help it turn a beautiful golden brown while it bakes.
- Bake it in a preheated 400°F oven until gorgeous. Remember, the goal is to cook the puff pastry properly. As long as you do that, the cheese will do what it should do. Mmmmm.
- After removing it from the oven, do NOT move that thing. Don’t touch it. Don’t DO it. Just let it rest. This will allow the brie to set back up a little bit.
- Before serving, use a broad spatula (or two) to transfer to your serving dish. Garnish with pomegranate seeds (arils) and finely chopped fresh parsley for a festive and tasty touch. Cut in half and offer crackers and toast with it.